Jesus Christ The αρχη of The Creation

 

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the beginning of the Creation of God” (Revelation 3:14)

 

The Greek text for the last clause reads: “ἡ ἀρχὴ τῆς κτίσεως τοῦ θεοῦ

 

Some have misused and abused this verse to try to “prove” that Jesus Christ is the “first-Created” by the Father. The Jehovah’s Witnesses, for example, due to their demonic teaching on the Person of Jesus Christ, that He is no more than “created” by the Father, have falsified in their New World Translation, how this reads.

 

the beginning of the creation by God” (2013 edition)

 

Notice how they have “BY God”, instead of what the Greek actually says, “OF God”. There is a huge difference here, as the NWT reading has Jesus Christ say that He is the first to have been Created by God the Father. Is the NWT right in their translation? Let us examine this.

The Greek text, “του θεου”, is in the genitive case, which is “OF God”. For it to have read “BY God” in English, we would expect Jesus to have said, “υπο του θεου”. It requires the Greek preposition, “υπο”, to have been used. A few examples from the NWT, in the Book of Revelation, where the Greek has, “του θεου”, will show the deceit for their reading for Revelation 3:14

 

2:7, “the paradise of God (του θεου)”

2:18, “the Son of God (του θεου)”

3:1; 4:5; 5:6,  “the seven spirits of God (του θεου)”

6:9, “the word of God (του θεου)”

7:15, “the throne of God (του θεου)”

In Revelation 12:6, the NWT reads, “a place prepared by God (απο του θεου)”

 

There can be no doubt, as in John 1:1, where the NWT reads, “and the Word was a god”, Revelation 3:14, has nothing to do with what the Greek actually does say, but what their “theology” teaches on the Person of Jesus Christ! If they want to show from any place in the Bible, that Jesus Christ is created, and not Almighty God, then why the need to deceive people by their false readings? Their deception can also be seen in an Appendix that is in their 1969 edition of the Kingdom Interlinear, a Greek/English New Testament. To support their reading of John 1:1, they try to get Greek grammatical support, from prominent Greek scholars. They quote from Greek grammars by Dana and Mantey, Samuel Green, and A T Robertson. What they fail to tell their readers, is that these three works actually say that John 1:1 reads, “and the Word was God”, as the grammar says! In fact Julius Mantey wrote to the Watchtower (JW’s) in 1974, to complain of their falsely using him as their “authority” for the corrupt reading! https://mmoutreachinc.com/jehovahs_witnesses/dr_mantey_lt.html

 

The Kingdom Interlinear by the Watchtower, reads under the Greek text, “the beginning of the creation of the God”. Yet in the English translation on the right hand, “by God” (1969 and 1985 editions)

 

The Watchtower also published another Greek Interlinear, by Benjamin Wilson, this reads under the Greek, “the beginning of the creation of the God”, and in the English translation on the right hand, “the BEGINNING of the CREATION of GOD” (1864 and 1942 editions)

The Unitarian New Testament by Dr George Noyes, reads, “beginning of the creation of God”

 

Another Unitarian New Testament by Archbishop William Newcome, reads, “the chief of the creation of God”

 

It is clear from their own publications, that the Jehovah’s Witnesses, have not been honest in their translations, but have changed meanings to suit what they believe, rather than what the Bible actually Teaches. Even those who agree with their “theology”, the Unitarians, disagree with their reading of Revelation 3:14.

 

The Greek noun “αρχη” has a few meanings, “beginning, origin, foundation, source, principal”. Then we also have, “that by which anything begins to be, the origin, active cause, ἡ ἀρχή τῆς κτίσεως, of Christ as the divine λόγος, Rev 3:14” (Joseph Thayer, Greek/English lexicon). Dr Thayer was a Unitarian, who denied that Jesus Christ is God! He wrote the preface to a work on the Fourth Gospel, by another Unitarian, Dr Ezra Abbott.

 

I am aware of what the Greek lexicon by BAGD, which says:

 

the first cause...of Christ ἡ ἀ τῆς κτίσεως Rv 3:14; but the mng. beginning =first created is linguistically poss. (s. above 1b and Job 40:19); cf. CFBurney, Christ as the αρχη of Creation: JTS 27, ’26, 160-77”

 

The comment “but the mng. beginning =first created is linguistically poss”, is rather pointless, and adds nothing to the meaning of αρχη in this verse in its context. It is like saying, that Genesis 1:1, is  linguistically possible to be translated from the Hebrew, “In the beginning god created the heavens and the earth”, as “'ĕlôhı̂ym” does not have the definite article with it. It is also linguistically possible, to translate John 1:18, “θεὸν οὐδεὶς ἑώρακεν πώποτε μονογενὴς θεὸς”, as “god no one has seen at any time the Unique god”. Likewise 1:1, “καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος”, “and the Word was god”.

Dr Burney’s essay, which is on Proverbs 8:22, Colossians 1:15-18, and Revelation 3:14, and 18 pages in length, concludes with:

 

Another New Testament allusion to Prov. viii. 22, in reference to Christ, is found in Rev. iii. 14 ἡ ἀρχὴ τῆς κτίσεως τοῦ θεοῦ, a title of the risen Christ which Dr Swete and Dr Charles have not a shadow of authority for limiting its meaning to ‘the Source of God’s creation’. There is every reason to suppose that ἀρχὴ is here used with all the fullness of meaning which St Paul extracts from reshith- Beginning, Sum-total, Head, First-Fruits. This at any rate fits in with the statement of xxi.6,  ἐγώ εἰμι τὸ Ἄ καὶ τὸ Ὦ, ἡ ἀρχὴ καὶ τὸ τέλος, where τὸ τέλος embodies the interpretation of   bereshith ‘into Him’ as the goal” (Christ as the αρχη of Creation, page 177)

 

Dr Burney spends most of this essay, on his understanding of how Proverbs 8:22 should be translated, especially the Hebrew verb, “qânâh”. His biggest mistake is to understand that this verse refers to Jesus Christ, which is not what the context teaches, regardless of what some of the early Church Fathers said. Dr Burney’s arguments are in the main quite pointless, as he is speculating about much of what he says! Why the Greek lexicon by BAGD would include his comments, is not too clear, as they themselves include Revelation 3:14’s use of “ἀρχὴ”, under “the first cause”.

 

There is no doubt that in the context, and the Teachings of the Bible, Jesus’ use of ἀρχὴ” for Himself, is that He is THE CREATOR, of the entire universe.

We shall look at other passages in the Book of Revelation, that will tell us more about Jesus Christ, and give us a better understanding on what Jesus means by, ἡ ἀρχὴ τῆς κτίσεως τοῦ θεοῦ”.

 

In Hebrews chapter 1, we have God the Father continue His address to Jesus Christ.

 

And, You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; and they will all grow old like a garment; like a cloak you will fold them up, and they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will not fail’

The Greek for “Lord” is “κύριε”, which is vocative, “O Lord”. These words are taken from Psalm 102:25-27, which is spoken of  “אל” (God, verse 24), and addressed to Him as The Creator. The Father, by taking these words, and using them for Jesus Christ, is saying that “The Son” is the Actual Creator of the heavens and earth. Not just some secondary, or intermediate. When we read in places like Hebrews 1:2, and John 1:3, where the Greek preposition “διά” is used for Creation. It is not to be understood as “agency”, as though the Father was Creating “through” Jesus Christ. But, as the original use of the preposition, “between, two”, as in Homer, “mutual operation, with one another”. Which agrees with the use of the plural in Genesis 1:26, “let US make man in OUR Image”, etc. And, Job 35:10, where it is literally, “God my Makers (עֹשָׂי, mas, plural)”.

 

In Revelation 1:17, 2:8, and 22:13, Jesus says of Himself, “ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ πρῶτος καὶ ὁ ἔσχατος”. This is what we read Yahweh say in Isaiah 44:6, “Thus saith God, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the God of Hosts, I am the first and I am the last (LXX, “Ἐγὼ πρῶτος καὶ ἐγὼ μετὰ ταῦτα”, I First and I hereafter these things”): be sides me there is no God”; and 48:12, ““Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I called! I am he; I am the first, and I am the last, (LXX, “ἐγώ εἰμι πρῶτος, καὶ ἐγώ εἰμι εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα”, I am the First and am Forever)”. Dr Thayer in his lexicon says of the words, “ὁ πρῶτος καὶ ὁ ἔσχατος, i. e. the eternal One, Rev 1:17; Rev 2:8; Rev 22:13. How can Jesus Christ, in Revelation 3:14, say of Himself, that He is the “first-Created” by God the Father, when He says of Himself, that He is The Eternal One, which means, UNCREATED? For the Hebrew “Ehyeh ’ăsher ’ehyeh” in Exodus 3:14, the LXX reads, “Ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ὤν”, “I am The Eternal One”. Jesus when He appears to John in Revelation chapter 1, He says, “ο ζων”, which is the present, active indicative, literally, “I am Ever Living”. Followed by, “εις τους αιωνας των αιωνων”, “unto the ages of the ages”. Jesus here tells John, what we read in Psalm 90:2, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God”. LXX, “ἀπὸ τοῦ αἰῶνος ἕως τοῦ αἰῶνος σὺ εἶ”

 

In chapter 5 we have a very strong passage for the absolute equality of Jesus Christ, with God the Father.

 

"And ALL of the Creation, which is in the heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and on the sea, and all things that are in them, heard I saying, to Him Who sits on the throne, AND unto the Lamb, be ALL the Blessing, and ALL the Honour, and ALL the Glory, and ALL the Might, for ever and ever. And the four living creatures said, Amen. And the elders fell down and worshipped." (verses 13-14; so emphasized in the Greek)

 

Note what it says, “Τῷ καθημένῳ ἐπὶ τῷ θρόνῳ καὶ τῷ ἀρνίῳ”, “To Him Who sits on the Throne and to the Lamb”

 

Firstly, we here have Two distinct Persons, “Τῷ καθημένῳ ἐπὶ τῷ θρόνῳ”, and “τῷ ἀρνίῳ”. Secondly, the conjunction “καὶ”, here used as “even, just, also”. Thirdly, whatever “Blessing, Honour, Glory, Might”, that is given “To Him Who sits on the Throne”, Who is “God the Father”, is equally given to “the Lamb”, Who is Jesus Christ. Fourthly, both the Father and Jesus Christ are Worshiped TOGETHER, as there is no distinction made between the Two, “καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι ἔπεσαν καὶ προσεκύνησαν”.

 

In Isaiah 42:8, we read, “I am Yahweh, that is My name; I will not give My Glory to another, Nor My praise to idols”. It is clear from the passage in Revelation chapter 5, that Yahweh does equally share GLORY and HONOUR, with Jesus Christ. ONLY if Jesus Christ is Himself Almighty God, can the words in this passage in Revelation be accounted for. If Jesus Christ is Created, as some blaspheme, then it is impossible for this passage in Revelation.

 

In two more passages, we have the absolute Unity and Equality of the Father and Jesus Christ.

 

Revelation 11:15

 

Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”

 

Note the end, “He shall Reign”, which in the Greek is, “βασιλευσει”, which is in the singular number. It can refer either, to “His Christ (τοῦ Χριστοῦ αὐτοῦ)”, or, to “our Lord and of His Christ (τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν καὶ τοῦ Χριστοῦ αὐτοῦ)”. It is clear from the Book of Revelation that the latter is the correct way to understand this verse. This is clear that BOTH The Father and Jesus Christ will Reign Eternally Forever.

 

In chapter 22, verse 1, 3: “And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb...No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His servants will Serve Him”.

 

Here we have, “του θρονου του θεου και του αρνιου (the throne of God and of the Lamb)”, clearly Two distinct Persons, “του θεου, του αρνιου”, but, “του θρονου” (the throne), is in the singular number. Again in verse 3 we have the same in the Greek, “του θρονου του θεου και του αρνιου”, and the singular “του θρονου”. “His (αυτου, masc, sing) servants, shall Worship Him (αυτω, masc, sing). Not only the Father and Jesus Christ are JOINT in their Rule, but they are Served, and  Worshipped TOGETHER, as in 5:14.

 

Only ones personal beliefs will cause them to reject the Truth as taught in the Holy Bible, that Jesus Christ is not only The Creator God, but completely COEQUAL to God the Father.